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School-based Tobacco Prevention and Education

Montgomery County Public Schools train teachers to provide the curriculum for Project TNT and Project Alert to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in 38 Middle Schools in the County.

In addition, the Caron Foundation works with youth people who smoke to help them to develop a cessation strategy that works for them. The Community Health Consulting group empowers youth to become tobacco control advocates through after-school programs and partnerships with local school groups.

Through a partnership with Montgomery College, students are educated on the dangers of using tobacco products. The College will become a smoke free campus in the summer of 2008.

School Based Education
Caron Treatment Center

Community Health Consulting

Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery College




Education on the dangers of second hand smoke

 Secondhand smoke can be harmful in many ways. In the United States alone, second-hand smoke can be responsible for:

  • An estimated 35,000 deaths from heart disease and 3,400 lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults 

  • Other breathing problems in non-smokers, including coughing, mucus, chest discomfort, and reduced lung function 

  • 150,000 to 300,000 lung infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis) in children younger than 18 months of age, which result in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations, increases in the number and severity of asthma attacks in about 200,000 to 1 million children who have asthma  more than 750,000 middle ear infections in children


CARON Comprehensive Addiction Treatment
Caron is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide an enlightened and caring treatment community in which all those affected by drug addictions may begin a new life. Now in its sixth decade of providing quality services, Caron offers a number of gender specific chemical dependency treatment programs, including tobacco cessation for youth.

Montgomery County has partnered with Caron to provide professional facilitation of youth tobacco prevention, cessation and reduction services through weekly sessions of teen peer groups in most public high schools and alternative schools throughout the County. Working within Montgomery County Public Schools, Caron works closely with each student to develop individual student treatment strategies that are both personally and culturally appropriate. These support groups meet weekly to best connect and coach students through tobacco cessation or tobacco reduction by assisting students in recognizing their own stages of change, the consequences of engaging in risky health behaviors and how to use their newly acquired skills to stay tobacco free. For more information on the Caron and its school based student assistant programs, visit the CARON website

Community Health Consulting
Community Health Consulting targets youth with both community and school based programs. The Teen Tobacco Prevention Initiative is CHC’s community based program whose goal it is to promote youth advocacy and implement educational programs for youth at risk of using tobacco, youth who are targeted by the tobacco industry, and pregnant teens. The Teen Tobacco Prevention Initiative s designed to educate young people in Montgomery County, ages 6-18, about the health risks of tobacco use and the dangers of secondhand smoke. Educational activities focus on tobacco industry tactics and include outreach, media advocacy, and leadership trainings. The Teen Tobacco Prevention Initiative also holds Chalk Out The Smoke, a yearly event consisting of talent, art, and dance contests, all of which focus on the ability to use your talents to promote an anti-tobacco message.

Community Health Consulting (CHC) school based program organizes and facilitates school-based educational programs in middle and high schools that are both youth inspired and youth led. These programs include the organization of school-based clubs, training program for youth leaders, peer education and intervention activities and education for pregnant teens on the dangers of second hand smoke. There are many youth led initiatives and opportunities to get involved. Students receive service learning hours and training to become leaders. For more information on Community Health Consulting and its program please contact Wendy Norcross at (301) 469-8678 or .

Montgomery County Public Schools
The Montgomery County MD Public School System, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Health Curriculum, implements Project TNT (Towards No Tobacco Use) , Project ALERT (Adolescent Learning Resistance Training), and tobacco prevention curriculum in all 38 MCPS middle schools as well as in all 25 MCPS high schools. The goal of both Project TNT and Project ALERT is to increase student knowledge of tobacco use. Students in grade 6 receive the Project TNT curriculum; students in grade 7 receive the Project ALERT training curriculum, and grade 8 students complete Project TNT and Project ALERT booster sessions. Grade 10 students participate in a five day tobacco prevention unit. For more information on the Montgomery County Public School’s Tobacco Curriculum please Elizabeth K. Green or visit the MCPS website.

Montgomery College
Montgomery College focuses much of its tobacco control efforts on preventing the initiation of tobacco products and protecting young adults from second hand smoke. The College organizes campus-wide tobacco use prevention programs and encourages cessation through high profile events such as the ‘Great American Smoke Out,” “Give the Perfect Gift” (smoking cessation as a holiday gift), and “If not now, When?”

In 2008, Montgomery College will be a smoke free campus!

For more information on the programs offered at Montgomery College or its efforts to become smoke free, Kathy Dayton.